Ulster Unionist Party (UUP) Councillor Derek Hussey recent police operations in Strabane that led to the seizure of a dissident republican mortar bomb are deserving of the unreserved support of the entire community.
Mr Hussey made the comments after the PSNI carried out follow up searches in the town at the weekend.
The PSNI earlier this month disrupted dissident republican operations and discovered the mortar device in a local cemetery.
Alderman Hussey, who represents the Derg Electoral Area on Derry City and Strabane District Council said: “All efforts from PSNI Officers to curtail the militant activities of republicans, of whatever brand, are to be welcomed.
“Successful actions like those within the Strabane community such as the recovery of weaponry and the uncovering of a mortar bomb placed in a local cemetery deserve the unreserved support of the entire community.
“Undoubtedly there remain those who will complain about the actions of police in such circumstances but they would be better remembering that it not the police who are secreting items of destruction, mayhem and death in the midst of their community with the resultant dangers posed to all thereby. “
Alderman Hussey said lives were put at risk.
“Place the blame for disruption to daily life where it lies - that being with those carrying out such activities and placing the lives of their own families, friends and neighbours at risk,” he said.
In conclusion Alderman Hussey added: “I continue to urge the public to support the PSNI in their ongoing efforts to remove terrorist individuals and their arsenal of destruction from the midst of our community.”
Alderman Hussey’s comments were echoed by his brother Ross Hussey, the UUP MLA for West Tyrone, who stated: “Clearly the terror threat is very evident in the Strabane and Londonderry areas.
“Any action that takes this threat away from the streets of Strabane is clearly something that would be welcomed by any right thinking individual.
“The police in Strabane certainly deserve the support and thanks of the community for their proactive actions in disrupting the terror machine in Counties Tyrone and Londonderry.”
Several families were evacuated from their homes in Strabane at the beginning of this month after police discovered a mortar type device in the Townsend Street and Cemetery Road area.
Reacting to the PSNI security alert at the time, the West Tyrone MLA described those who had left the device as “fascists.”
“Once again the good people of Strabane have had their lives placed in danger and their daily routines disrupted by what can only be described as fascists,” he said.